tv [untitled] December 10, 2012 3:00am-3:30am PST
this room and this looks into our kitchen. one morning i woke up, completely unannounced to have a man working right here. that was when we first learned that they were doing something with the roof. and then i woke up one morning and the hood vent was starting to be built. but i'm actually really worried about fire. my light is decreased in the light well, but i mean it's something that could happen, but amount of space where somebody could come in the event of fire and there will be grease and everything that is sucked up from the hood vent in the hood vent, and so it would easily spread to the hood vent. which is immediately right next to my room. it would be very difficult for someone to actually come into
that light well if there was a fire there. and my safety would be very much on the line. apart from them, i mean, the way that he had the picture only showed this area right here. this is the whole light well. and it's actually very close to where my window is. it overlaps -- it overlaps both of my windows, both of my roommate's windows and there is absolutely no way for us to look out from our kitchen. also i don't have any windows for ventilation. i have nowhere else in my room to open a window and not have the hood vent be there. so i will be receiving all of
the noxious fumes -- i mean i love indian food, too, but i will be receiving food smells. everything that is going up that vent will be going into my bedroom. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> hi. thank you. i am charles cagnan and i own a 3-unit building directly behind the restaurant. on 17th, it basically sticks back. and the vent is basically aimed at my property, my backyard and my building. i believe that my tenants have signed the petition here opposing this permit. my concern is that i never heard about this thing before it happened. i have been in this unit for 20 years. this is my principal asset in my life. it's my home. the neighborhood was a rough
neighborhood 20 years ago and now it's not a rough neighborhood of i have put a lot of juice into making this a beautiful place to live for me and my tenants and now everything this restaurant produces is going to be something that i'm going to breathe. and so you know this is basically being in an environment where i have a whole life based upon secondhand smoke and curry. so whatever other kind of life i have got, that is going to be the heart of my life. and i don't think that this being sprung upon me is fair to me, fair to my tenants or fair to other people on the block that will be experiencing the same kind of secondhand smoke. and so my belief is that when this thing was a coffee shop and a sandwich shop, that was a fine use of the space. it's a tiny space in a residential area and i would request of you and believe that
this is best zoned for that use. the previous owner ran it as an internet cafe. and so everybody sat there all day and never bought anything. if you weren't running it as an internet cafe and my request is that you deny this permit, revoke this permit. economically, this is [kwhra-/] i have got in life and now you have a situation where this guy wants to run a curry factory i lose significant value in what i have got. medically i have to report it to people that they are being poisoned by the smoke and what about the injury to me? i didn't do anything to deserve this. it was sprung upon me and it's
completely unfair. what kind of recourse do i have for this and what kind of recourse do my tenants have? there are lots and lots of people subject to this secondhand smoke. there are other ways of this space being used and this is really too gross for the environment. i hope you reconsider what this place is designed for. thank you for your time. >> thank you, next speaker, please. >> hi name is deice law and i live at 457 guerrero street, which is two buildings down from curry village, potentially. i have lived there for 20 years. i have seen the business -- that space go through a myriad or many different businesses. and yeah, i agree the cafe was
nice. and it was manageable. and my main concerns are just the way that everything has been coming down. the lack of responsibility, and bringing everything up to code, letting everybody know in the neighborhood, that this was happening. and now finding out all of these other fire hazards and the fire department -- it's not up to code. and then now hearing that the roof is not steady and may not even support this hood. really i have a lot of concerns. i have concerns that everything just seems like it's been very sloppily done and i'm concerned with the trash, the composting, with rodents. and i don't even want to get into the stench, the permeating
stench. i myself love indian food and, in fact i just got back from india. i was there a month. those are my concerns and i think there has been a lot of disrespect for the neighborhood and not letting us know what was going on. thank you. >> next speaker, please. x good evening commissioners and thank you very much for allowing us to speak. i own the two-unit building at 3478-3480 17th street, which is right around the corner and i was on vacation last week and when i came home from vacation there was a big stack of mail and i came upon a notice for this meeting and it was directed to one of my neighbors who i had never met until this evening. i looked at this and thought wow, that little cafe, i knew it had closed, but it's going to be converted to a restaurant
with a big hood fan and venting out fumes? my bedroom is not very far from that. i live on the second floor and i have tenants on the first floor and i thought wow, i'm surprised i wasn't notified about this. i do get notices from the city and i read them and walk by the properties and have never been compelled to come here and speak to them about it because it was all reasonable. but in it case, it felt this doesn't really seem right to me. we weren't notified and from the things that i have heard tonight about the fire department issues i did not know that the vent was going by people's bedroom windows. no wonder they are alarmed. i would ask that you please reconsider this. i am not sure of the process, but this needs to be looked at. i love indian food. i love being able to walk to restaurants from my house, but we need to work together to
come to solutions that work for everybody. thank you. >> ma'am, do you care to state your name for the record? >> i'm sorry, shirley johnson. >> thank you. is there any other public comment on this item? seeing none, we'll move into rebuttal, starting with the appellants. >> andrew zack, attorney for the appellant. i think it's pretty clear that the problem with this permit and the question is what are you going to do about it? obviously this board has broad authority and there are cases that the board would take jurisdiction over permit and issue a special conditions permit. this is not one of those cases, commissioners. it's not one of those cases because this is a case that we think that the project sponsor gained system. the leasee signed a lease for a cafe/coffee shop only.
even the tenant does not have the right under his lease to operate a restaurant in this location. i love indian food just like anyone else, but when you engage in a serial permitting scheme, which is perfectly legal, you have to suffer the consequence when the last permit doesn't meet the code and had this case, your obligation as the board of appeals to is reverse the permit and revoke it when defects are pointed out to you. we file an appeal -- after i filed an appeal, i never heard from anyone. there was never any outreach that we might resolve that. that is not the way we do business in san francisco, particularly when you convert a use of an art gallery to cafe
to restaurant. we actually reached out to the 5th district supervisor who did hold a series of meetings. the restaurant owner never attended those meetings and never heard a word from the restaurant owner. in this case where you have a significant fire/life safety issue, it would be extremely inappropriate for this board to act as plan checkers and take jurisdiction over what is clearly a defective permit and figure out some solution that would possible benefit the perform applicant who submitted a defective permit. they need to go back through the process and get this in front of fire department, which is not under the jurisdiction of the board of appeals and the fire department has to review whatever they want to do and make sure it's going to be safe for the tenants of the building, and for the neighbors of the building. and we think that you should
revoke the permit. >> i have a question about the duct. is there any -- and maybe mr. boskvich would help with this. is there any way to get a hood on the building or in a useful space? tell me how one could do that in a way that doesn't have the impacts that were described tonight? >> obviously there is no way to have this hood in the light well. >> any other location? >> you could possibly put it on front, although that creates challenges for that gentleman there, who is not going to like it. you could possibly put it in the back, but the only way to get to the back is down a fire-rated corridor and on the backside you are on an exit path. i think it's a huge challenge to do it. i think the only place it may be possible is at front, but planning is not going to like it .
in this light shaft, i think housing and health, it's no way. it's 31" outside of the enclosure, so it's about 4 inchs on each side. the concern, it's not an egress window under the code. they are right. but it's a light and ventilation shaft to bring lights into bedrooms. so this is the wrong place to put it. maybe they could put in front. >> there are other places. >> i just wanted to know another sort of mixed-use spaces, i have seen you here enough that i assume you have seen other kinds. >> i do a lot of restaurants. i have done too many restaurants >> do you see ducts going through light wells? >> if there was a duct 6-8", yes, they go into light wells all the time. with the fire-rate enclosure, which is required is 31 inches.
in discussions with fire department, there is no 3m exterior-grade product. so if they want to take off the fire protection, to make the duct down to 17, then they have to wrap it with a product that i'm not aware of any exterior-grade product. the problem then is that the noise will come through the duct, because i have hired a number of times for duct. >> if i may? >> sure. >> the other issue is that every light well is of a different size and this is a substandard size. we have an old wood frame building. you can get it through a light well if it's big enough and provides enough room. not this one. this is an old building with a substandard light well. the housing inspector was out there and saw it and that is why he issued the citation he did. >> thank you, i have nothing further for now. thank you.
>> we can hear from the permit-holder, three minutes ' of rebuttal. >> well, i think almost everything has been said. if you listen carefully to what has been said, most of the people are in favor of the restaurant. what bothers them is their safety. whether we can put those into place. the 312 notification is out of the window at this point. we are not even talking about, but they are statements that are not entire true. first of all, the art gallery, there has been no art gallery. there was an application for an art gallery, but it never went into place. it was denied.
the thing that really makes things like this difficult is when people go fishing for inspectors. we have the building inspectors who are very good, but if they have written something that you don't like, you go searching for inspectors -- [speaker not understood] having said that, this restaurant is not going to be the kind of restaurant -- especially when it was come before you. we are going to do it under the code, and we're going to make sure that all of that is properly done within the code limitations. nobody is going to take a shortcut. and basically we're going to try, as much as possible to get the neighbors involved. we're going to do that because this restaurant is going to create at least eight jobs in this neighbored and believe it's to the benefit of the neighborhood. obviously not everybody is going to be satisfied, but that
has always been the case. the lease being signed on december 1st and the code was never in action when the guy signed the lease. that doesn't mean you have to bind him to the code, if it has changed. not just to do a good job, but to create jobs in this neighborhood by bringing in the restaurant. with respect to supervisor wiener the idea that he never attend the meeting is not entirely correct. we have the three 312 notification, and you have jurisdiction over everything. so now what we're trying to do is how best we can do this to comply with safety and other code provisions and we have asked this board to please allow us to go back and revise
the plans and work with the neighbors and with the departments to bring a code-compliant project for the neighborhood. thank you. >> thank you. we can hear from mr. sanchez now, if you have something further. >> thank you scott sanchez planning department. just first i want to say that i'm surprised that the parties' representative were not able to meet and discuss -- i know that they know each other. it's very frustrating that sounds like there hasn't been effective communications to try to resolve this. second, i understand that the appellant continues to raise concerns about the legality of that coffee shop use and of course the department's section that no 312 notification is predicated on our understanding that they had a legal coffee shop that had received planning approval and health department
approvals for the coffee shop. but we will double check with the building department to assure that they have the appropriate permits and wanted to inform the board we would do that. if they did not, there would be building permit requirement to document change of the use. >> mr. duffy? >> commissioners, as a couple of people brought up on the public comment, about the lack of sprinklers, i don't think sprinklers are required. we do have some fire rating that is required by the building code, as well as the 1r shaft requirement for the duct is definitely required. so people that live in the apartments, that is why we ask
for that around the ducts. i just wanted to reiterate that. normally when you go through a type 1 hood installation on a permit and review by the fire department, it is pretty thorough and inspected. we do take them seriously, because of the grease factor and the fires, so they are inspected by fire inspectors and building inspectors as well. so i just wanted to add that. the change of use and occupancy would be addressed under the building code. i am a little bit confused about the change. it was an art gallery and went to coffee shop that would be from m occupancy under the building code to the b occupancy under the building code. it's not a big change of occupancy. it's still a change of occupancy and we would have needed to see a building permit for that. i don't know if that happened and we're going to look into that with planning as mr. sanchez said. i'm available for any questions. >> mr. duffy, there are going
to be multiple reviews based upon your observations to what is lacking in this permit. there is going to be resubmittals of some type, isn't there? >> yes, there will. there will have to be. >> and if there are additional reviews that are sometimes more stringent, like fire review, there could be further modifications? >> absolutely. we don't have enough information and we don't have a roof plan. we don't have enough information on these plans to tell us that, but that needs to be designed by a mechanical engineer that meets all of the codes and if it meets before the code, so be it. >> so what is before us is not the final permit? >> whatever we doj we need a
new permit, whether this is -- this permit is not right. >> could it be revised? >> it definitely needs to be revised yes. >> it will be revised as a new permit? >> it could be left as a revision -- they couldn't do a revision to a supported permit. >> excuse me, mr. duffy on the application process, can the project sponsor get the permit on his own or require the authorization of the building's owner? >> the tenant in a building typically require the owner. >> do we have that on this particular application? >> i'm not sure. >> one last question, if this
permit was revoked, isn't the permit-holder prohibited from submitting the same thing again for a year? >> i'm not sure about that. that is more your board of appeals procedure. that could be, yes. >> well, i think that depends on whether or not there is a defect that can be corrected for the resubmittal. there are situations where he can reapply. >> i'm sorry, we couldn't hear. >> i said it depends on the condition that caused the permit not to be approved could be corrected before the application was resubmitted. >> okay. >> thank you. >> commissioners the matter is submitted.
>> let me start with some technical problems here. and observations. actually the one place that they didn't talk before where the shafts could go was through the middle of the building. the shafts don't have to be on the exterior of the boeing. they don't have to be in a light well or in front or back, but they can go through the building. the problem is that if you look at the documentation on the shaft and on the exhaust fan and things like that, they are fairly typical of a very simple system that is probably been replicated many times. the issue that has been brought up by the appellants and all the neighbors relate to other things. if you combined the issue that
the building department has brought up, if there is a requirement for fire dampers, that creates a problem for the system. because you now have to pump more air through it to be able to go through the duct, you require further access to the dampers because of grease and other things and the more air you pump through means a bigger motor, bigger fan, more vibration, more noise. so there are a number of issues here that are problems. that perhaps i'm not willing to jeririg tonight and bring it back here and then we'll make a determination whether the qualitative issues that have been brought forward by the neighbors and tenants are things that we want to deal
with. >> i feel inclined [-epts/]ly with the recent activity with the housing inspection, the department of building inspections, too.x i agree >> may i add two further technical points? if it's a standard sheet metal shaft you will have leakage and therefore you have smell. if you have an air-tight duct that resolves some of the problems, whether they use
carbon hepa filters. >> i can see you want to say something, but give us our due, please. >> sure. >> the other issues raised by thezining administrator with respect of the changes of use through the period are troubling to me and i think further time is needed to review those issues as with the. anyone else? i will take a short comment. >> thank you, if we're going to have a continuance and new submittal, i think that favorness dictate that we have public testimony open. >> absolutely. >> we would like to get copies of plans in advance of the hearing so my client has an opportunity. >> we haven't made a determination what we are going to do yet. >> you can tell that we're leaning in that direction.
>> i am asking respectfully that if you do decide to go that direction that we -- we spent a lot of time and effort and a lot of money has gone into presenting these issues and the only reason this has been caught is because of the efforts of my client. >> we understand. >> we would like the opportunity to comment meaningfully. >> for some reason if information is not properly exchanged in advance with due time, we wouldn't have the hearing. >> thank you very much for considering my request. >> and inspector duffy? >> and the permit holder. >> i am concerned about the existing construction in the light well.
if there is some way to get it out of the way until this is resolved so it won't cause egress problems. i am concerned about egress. >> can you help me understand the extent to which the construction has already taken place? how much effort would it take to take it down? >> i don't think it would take more than a day or two to take it down. it's a big shaft that is taking up way too much room in the light well and i have concern and i think housing does as well. when people who live in a building, they would have had a couple of weeks before the suspended permit. it was issued at the end of august, the 20st of august and supposed september 14th. leaving it until this could be another few months it troubles m